TENS is a method of pain relief for people with chronic pain or women in labour. A TENS machine delivers a small electrical current to the body through electrodes attached to the skin. It does not involve chemical medication.
TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
Transcutaneous – through skin
Electrical -small electrical impulses via electrodes to override pain signals to the brain.
Nerve – pain signals travel via nerves
TENS is also called electrotherapy.
A TENS machine passes electricity across the skin to stimulate your nerves and relieve your pain.
A TENS machine runs on batteries or some on an AC adaptor . Small electrodes are place on your skin, and the electrodes are connected to the TENS machine. The machine sends pulses of gentle electric current to the electrodes. The current stimulates the nerves near your pain.
Most people use tens unit as an alternative to pain relief medication and many find it very helpful.
But it isn’t clear how it works. It’s possible that it blocks pain signals by stimulating different nerves in your spinal cord. TENS might also cause the release of endorphins – the body’s natural pain relievers.